Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Blackness in Opera$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Naomi Andre, Karen M. Bryan, and Eric Saylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036781

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036781.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 February 2021

Race, “Realism,” and Fate in Frederick Delius’s Koanga

Race, “Realism,” and Fate in Frederick Delius’s Koanga

(p.78) 4 Race, “Realism,” and Fate in Frederick Delius’s Koanga
Blackness in Opera

Eric Saylor

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how race intersects with questions of “realism” and fate in Frederick Delius's Koanga, which features black characters as its protagonists as well as examples of African American folk music. Based on an episode from George Washington Cable's novel The Grandissimes, Koanga is a nineteenth-century story of love, jealousy, and betrayal centered on Koanga, an enslaved West African prince and voudon priest, and Palmyra, a quadroon maidservant. This chapter first provides a background on Koanga's genesis and textual variations before discussing its seeming contradiction: the dramatic portrayal of Koanga and Palmyra as a reflection of period beliefs about the Otherness of blacks; and its treatment of the exoticism of “blackness,” both physical and musical, as an attractive quality integral to achieving its dramatic and musical aims. It argues that Koanga revives many familiar tropes of racial exoticism and manifests troubling new resonances concerning questions of destiny and free will.

Keywords:   race, Frederick Delius, Koanga, black characters, African American folk music, Otherness, exoticism, blackness, destiny, free will

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.